Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In true fashion...

Life has hit me lately.  Life has hit me, beat me up, and spit me out, leaving me feeling alone and confused.  Ending a 2 year relationship is like loosing your right hand, when you are right handed.  My mom had a rule her second time around- "Never date a man for more than one year, everything you need to know to make a decision about marriage will come in that time."  However, in true Rachel fashion, I did not listen.  Life has a way of inserting us into its vortex and confusing our day to day thoughts with its overwhelming presence.  Days turn to weeks, weeks to months, months to seasons, seasons to years and next thing you know you have been with your partner for way too long and you're in this confusing place of what are we doing? What is keeping us together? Who are we as a couple? As individuals? And pretty sure this thought has crossed your mind," I may as well stay with him since we have so much time invested..." and next thing ya know you are left with this person sleeping next to you that you pretty much just want to push out of the bed just to see what happens. At least I did which made me realize that I did not want to marry the person who I was currently sharing my life with.  A haunting memory eats at me, it was appx a year and a half ago, a rainy cold night after having sex with him, I wanted to cry.  I wanted to cry because I knew this was not the man for me, I wanted so much more.  But he gave me so many things which made me believe something was wrong with me.  Everyone wanted me to love him, everyone said he is so nice, so kind, he loves you so much.  And while I admit those are admirable qualities, I was not in it.  I smiled with hesitation, I sighed alot, and I felt like we were lacking, and that everything was a struggle.  We rarely spent time together; instead I found myself distracted with the company of my friends trying to fill the void he was creating. {Insert quote about love is like a fart, if you have to force it, it's probably shit}, although gross, and I admit it's weird to compare poo to love, you can't deny the truth behind it. Finally, what broke me down and shook me out of my shell was photos.  

Photos of my friends with their husbands, kids, and intensely happy lives.  The imagery of the photos spoke volumes.  He and I were making the same cheeser smiles in our rentals while their kids were going from newborn, to crawling, to walking, to becoming these gorgeous beings with personalities and there was no denying the progression of time going on around me.  None of this half ass living together for multiple years and nothing comes of it, no more sighs and settling and pretending to be happy with the mediocre life I had created.  I saw my friends getting married, moving, buying homes, really getting out there and I realized, what was I doing?  Besides taking care of a dog, working part time, cooking, going to school, and scraping by on the boyfriend paychecks what was filling my life with satisfaction?  Seems rude right?  I had a guy who did everything for me, completely devoted, and I was about as interested in him as I was in gaining 20 pounds.  The point is sometimes we can't control what we feel, we want to change our own minds, but something greater inside us tells us that we can't.  I often wonder why he was so devoted to me?  And I don't believe it was for the right reasons.  I think it was because he was setting his sights short, and he too was caught up in our small town life.  We had a rented roof over our heads, enough money in the bank to fill up a gas tank or buy some groceries, dinner on the table and he was happy.  He was simple, and settled rather easily, which is why he probably never asked me to marry him in 2+ years together.  I was and remain complex, or at least a more complicated version than he. 

I have read articles and heard stories about giving up the notion of a perfect marriage.  So mentally I did understand (or attempt to understand) that I could not expect certain things of him, and I struggled with that alot.  Clearly he wasn't perfect, nobody will be, but he had all the xyz qualities I mentioned before so why couldn't I marry him and accept him? All I can say, is I just didn't feel it. Even tho I didn't expect a perfect partner, I did expect him to be perfect for me. Although my heart knew he was good and pure, my head said nope, or maybe it was the other way head wanted me to love him but my heart said no.  I'm not sure which was which but I knew the two biggest deciders in my love life were in contention and that I could not deny.  You can not fight with intuition.  I wanted to love him, I really, really wanted to love him.  I felt I tried very hard because he loved me unconditionally, and after finally finding that acceptance after so long of craving it made it even harder to let go of. Letting him go was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  We were so close, so close to being that happy, silly family unit I desired so badly.  However, the one thing missing was that he was completely unable to be silly, or let go, or take a photo with anything but his usual akward smile.  He had qualities, good ones, that I loved so much and that any lady would be lucky to find in a mate.  But, at the end of the day I had to take my own advice and acknowledge that good decisions will never be easy.  And looking back on my old life, even though my heart aches and I sometimes cry when I'm doing something ridiculous like putting away dishes, I know it will fade and it will be replaced by something stronger and more true.  Everytime we fall, not only do we rise up again, but we rise up stronger, smarter, and more courageous.  I need a moment, a second to mentally document and thank him for his love and devotion because without it I would feel heartless.  I think of all the moving, trips to the store, unpacking, projects and random things that he did for me, he really was a good man. But when the time of mourning has passed, I will be happier.  I can't wait for someone to come into my life that is perfectly flawed, but that can make me laugh and roll with the punches.  Someone who will pick our babies up and swirl them through the air while lighting them up with his smile.  Someone who gives me butterflies, that can also be loyal and possess the good qualities I had before. I'm scared, scared that "all the good ones are taken".  After all I am not starting this off at the greatest age.  But I know that it is not impossible and it will happen for me if I prepare myself for it.  I will end with this, I believe it is an Irish proverb,

"When you come to the edge of all that you know you must believe in one of two things; Either there will be earth on which to stand or you will be given wings to fly"

I can't wait for my wings.

Photo credit: Tyler Shields

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